Exclusive: FIFA warns Nepal FA to get house in order or will step in

Wed May 11, 2016 4:18am EDT
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By Karolos Grohmann

BERLIN (Reuters) - FIFA has warned troubled Nepal football association (ANFA) to reinstate suspended executive committee members and immediately call a congress or risk intervention of the world soccer's governing body.

In a letter sent to ANFA General Secretary Dhirendra Pradhan dated May 9 and seen by Reuters, FIFA's acting Secretary General Markus Kattner said ANFA had failed to act according to its own statutes and should this issue persist it could establish a FIFA "normalization committee."

Ganesh Thapa, former president of ANFA, was banned in November 2015 for 10 years and fined 20,000 Swiss francs for a series of acts of misconduct.

Former player Thapa, a member of Parliament, had acknowledged receiving money from former Asian Football Confederation President Mohammad bin Hammam, who has been banned from soccer for life after allegations he paid bribes.

He said the money was lent by bin Hammam for business purposes.

As well as two decades leading Nepal's soccer association, Thapa had also served as a vice-president of the Asian Football Confederation, the continent's 47-nation soccer bloc.

Since his departure, however, critics have claimed little has changed with officials, including acting president Narendra Shrestha, seen as close to Thapa.

Members of ANFA's executive committee, including two former vice presidents, who were critical of Thapa and had taken the issue to FIFA last year, have been dismissed for allegedly missing meetings.   Continued...

A FIFA sign is seen outside the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland December 17, 2015. REUTERS/Ruben Sprich